- Kaiser Permanente has announced that it will partner with Community Solutions to leverage real-time data about the social determinants of health (SDOH) to end chronic homelessness in 15 communities.
Kaiser Permanente will provide $3 million over a three-year period to help Community Solutions’ Built for Zero Initiative, a program that enables local leaders to better understand homelessness in the communities they serve. The initiative offers problem-solving tools and technologies to communities to eliminate homelessness and the conditions that create it.
“We are thrilled to work with Kaiser Permanente to accelerate Built for Zero in these communities,” said Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions.
“Together, we will use data and analytics to help these communities adopt the tools they need to end homelessness and address the conditions that create it.”
Mortality rates among those experiencing homelessness are three to four times higher than the general population, Kaiser Permanente noted.
“Living without a home can have a dramatic impact on a person’s health, yet many of the communities we serve are grappling with extreme rates of housing insecurity and homelessness.” said Bechara Choucair, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s chief community health officer.
“We know there is no simple solution to such a complex problem, but through strategic partnerships, such as the one with Community Solutions, we believe it can be solved.”
Community Solutions’ Built for Zero Initiative is a national effort to eradicate homelessness. The program operates in more than 70 communities across the country. Participating communities have housed 65,000 veterans and 38,500 chronically homeless individuals since January 2015.
To date, three Built for Zero communities have ended chronic homelessness and nine have ended veteran homelessness.
This partnership adds to Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to address the social determinants of health. In January 2019, the organization announced three initiatives that would increase access to affordable housing for residents in California.
The initiatives included investing in real estate in Oakland, establishing a $100 million national loan fund for affordable housing, and launching a plan to end homelessness for over 500 Oakland-area individuals.
Kaiser Permanente also recently created the Thriving Communities Fund, a $200 million impact investment fund committed to addressing affordable housing and other social factors that contribute to homelessness.
“Housing security is a crucial health issue for vulnerable populations,” Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, said at the time.
“Access to affordable housing is a key component to Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve and to advance the economic, social and environmental conditions for health.”
The 15 Kaiser Permanente communities participating in Built for Zero include counties in California, Virginia, Maryland, as well as Atlanta, Denver, and Honolulu.
This new partnership will help enhance Kaiser Permanente’s work in boosting the physical health of its members.
“Kaiser Permanente is investing in efforts to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity because there is a proven link between housing and health,” said Tyson.
“Addressing affordable housing and homelessness is crucial to Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve, and to advance the economic, social and environmental conditions for health.”